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Mystery of the River Boat (1944)

"The Mystery of the Riverboat" while ending each chapter with a cliffhanger is more episodic in nature than the usual Universal serial and somewhat similar to Universal's 1934 "Tailspin ... See full summary »


(story), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Martin ...
Celeste Eltree
Jenny Perrin (as Marjory Clements)
Rudolph Toller
Arthur Hohl ...
Oscar O'Shea ...
Capt. Ethan Perrin
Batiste [Chs. 4-13]
Charles Langtry [Chs. 5-13] (as Eddy C. Waller)
Herman Einreich [Chs. 1-3]
Dr. H. Hartman [Ch. 1]
Jean Duval [Chs. 5-6]
Bruno Bloch
Alec Craig ...
Chief Engineer


"The Mystery of the Riverboat" while ending each chapter with a cliffhanger is more episodic in nature than the usual Universal serial and somewhat similar to Universal's 1934 "Tailspin Tommy" in that aspect as some plot lines are completed as a story within the overall story. Plus, while some serials often contained a title song or motif throughout, this one has six songs scattered around and about performed by either Marion Martin - and we have no idea if she was dubbed or did her own warbling - and former Three Mesquiteer and future head Mouseketeer Jimmie Dodd, who did his own. The overly-plotted (for juvenile Saturday matinée audiences to keep up with over a period of 13 weeks) story finds three Louisiana families, the Langtrys, Perrins and Duvals, as co-owners of swamp land in the Louisiana bayou country. Unaware that the property contains rich "nitrolene" deposits, they are considering an offer from speculator Herman Einreich, who is well aware of the secret, having killed the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

serial | swamp | song | murder | louisiana | See All (13) »





Release Date:

24 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mystery of the River Boat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chapter Titles: 1) The Tragic Crash 2) The Phantom Killer 3) The Flaming Inferno 4) The Brink of Doom 5) The Highway of Peril 6) The Fatal Plunge 7) Toll of the Storm 8) The Break in the Levee 9) Trapped in the Quicksands 10) Flaming Havoc 11) Electrocuted 12) Risking Death 13) The Boomerang See more »


Chapters 10 and 11: The car that Jenny is driving sure looks like "The Black Beauty" of the "Green Hornet's", but various shots show front fender covers and no front fender covers. See more »


Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Roger Corman (1999) See more »


I Get Mellow in the Yellow of the Moon
Written by Jimmie Dodd
Performed by Jimmie Dodd
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable Fluff
29 March 2009 | by (North Hollyweird) – See all my reviews

The entertaining tale of a possible land swindle in the bayous of Louisiana (played rather unconvincingly by the Universal back lot), peppered with plenty of good old serial action. Fist fights, fires, explosions, boat crashes and chase scenes. The action does not take place aboard the steamer "Morning Glory" for the entire serial, only for the first five chapters.

Mantan Moreland is the great asset here, and is enjoyable to watch as always, I will agree with other comments on that one. A decent DVD release by the Serial Squadron, on a pressed DVD, but unfortunately no commentary tracks. The only extra is the two minute trailer. The print used is by no means pristine. Many portions of splotches, lines and scratches, but always watchable. Having said that, the quality is better on some of the chapters than it is on others.

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